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TEMPLE OF KESAVA DEVA IN 1650 A. I>.                              127
BOW stands ike mosque, occupying its entire length, but only 60 feet of its
hreadtk Abont five feet lower is another terrace, measuring 286 feet by 268.
There may still be observed, let into, the Muhammadan pavement, some votive
tablets with Mgari inscriptions, dated Sambat 1713 and 1720, corresponding
to 1656 and 1663 A. B. In the latter year the temple attracted the notice of
the traveller Bernier, who writes :" Between Delhi and Agra, a distance of
fifty or sixty leagues, there are no fine towns ; the whole road is cheerless and
uninteresting ; nothing is worthy of observation but Mathnra, where an an-
cient and magnificent pagan temple is still to be seen." The plinth of the
temple-wall may be traced to this day at the back of the mosque and at right
angles to it for a distance of 163 feet; but not a vestige of the superstruc-
ture has been allowed to remain.
The following description of this famous building is given by Tavernier,
who visited it about the year 1650* He writes :" After the temples of Jagre-
nath and Ban&roiis, the most important is that of Matura, about 18 kos* from
Agra on the road to Delhi. It is one of the most sumptuous edifices in all
India, and the piace where there used to be formerly the greatest concourse of
pilgrims \ but now they are not so manys the Hindus having gradually lost
their previous veneration far the temple, on account of the Jamun&, which
used to pass close by, now having changed its bed and formed a new channel
half a league away. For, after bathing in the river,, they lose too much time
in returning to i&e temple, and on the way might corne across something to
render them unclean*
a The temple is of such a vast size that, though in a hollow, one can see it five
or six kos off, the building being very lofty and very magnificent. The stone
used in it is of a reddish tint, brought from a large quarry near Agra. It splits
like our slate, and yau can have slabs 15 feet long and nine or ten broad and only
some six inches thick ; in fact, you can split them just as you like and according
to your requirements, white you can also have line columns. The whole of the
fort at Agra, the walls of Jeh&n&bad, the king's palace, and some of the
houses of the nobles are built of this stone. To return to the temple.It is set
on a large octagonal platform, which is all faced -with out stone, and has round
about it two bands of many kinds of animals, but particularly monkeys, in relief;
* Hre lie states the distance correctly j but in another place he givea the utages feom Delhi
to Agfa u follow*:** From Delhi to Badelpoura, 8 Mo*; from Badelpoura to Pel we! ki sera,
18 5 from Pelwd ki sera to Cot ki sera (Koal) 15 ; from Cot ki se to Cheki wet a (Mathnri, < Cheki*
standing for *SMMo*) IS; from Cheki sera to Goodk! sent* 6 j from Gooki aem to Agra* 6.**
One stage moat hare been omitted at me end.